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Engineering Education Research Presented at ASEE Conference

Utah State University was well-represented by faculty and graduate students at the annual ASEE Conference held recently in San Antonio, Texas. Engineering education research presented by USU researchers covered a range of topics in four different divisions, including Minorities in Engineering, Education Research and Methods, Engineering Ethics, and K-12 and Pre-College Engineering. 

In the minorities in engineering division, Dr. Christine Hailey, Associate Dean in the College of Engineering and Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Engineering Education (EED), presented research “Investigating unique aspects of the MESA program for underrepresented students.” Also in this division, EED graduate student Presentacion Rivera-Reyes, presented research on “Offsetting gender bias in engineering: Gender equity internet controlled fish farm curriculum activity.”

Educational research and methods explores why students do what they do and how positive learning behaviors can be better promoted. In this division, Dr. Wade Goodridge, EED regional campus faculty, presented his research on “Measuring the differences in spatial ability between a face-to-face and synchronous distance education undergraduate engineering graphics course.”

With the advent of the internet and other electronic devices, students literally have information at their fingertips. Consequently, the issue of student cheating is becoming increasingly pervasive. The engineering ethics division examines a number of issues related to academic integrity and student development. Angela Minichiello, EED regional campus faculty, presented research on “Comparing engineering student use of solution manuals and student/faculty perceptions of academic dishonesty.”

As a part of the K-12 & pre-college engineering division, EED department faculty presented two papers: Dr. Ning Fang, Associate Professor in EED, presented his research on “Integrating real world engineering examples and mathematical calculations into computer simulations to improve students’ understanding of concept pairs.” Dr. Kurt Becker’s research, “High school engineering design thinking and performance,” was presented for him by post doctoral researcher, Dr. Shaobo Huang.

In an effort to better represent academic opportunities in engineering education research, the key universities offering an engineering education program collaborated on a common space in the exhibit hall. In addition to USU, universities represented included Purdue, Virginia Tech and Tufts. The area was also shared with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Center for Engineering Learning & Teaching (CELT). 

As a new department, effective January 2012, the USU Department of Engineering Education debuted a new look at this conference, featuring an eye-catching new backdrop and new brochures.